I am a 33-year-old woman in a male-dominated professional culture, which presents a plethora of challenges. I was hesitant to take the certification exam as I have never been a good test-taker. I typically have to read the same question 10 times because I am easily distracted; Squirrel!! I was also unfamiliar with the certification and I didn’t want to waste resources on something that was newer and not yet recognized in the industry.
My husband is a global career consultant for a large firm, so I asked for his opinion. He looks at hundreds of resumes per year and said that regardless of what letters you have after your name, it sends a statement to hiring managers and recruiters: you took the extra step above another competing candidate and passed a globally certified test. Letters after your name create a bias that you are a credible professional.
I decided to go for it. The test was very corporate-centered and at the time and I did not work directly for a corporate company. When taking the exam, I had to change my mindset and perspective to what I would do if I were in that situation. Although there is not a technical study guide for the SCMP certification exam, a few documents I would recommend taking a look at are The IABC Handbook of Organizational Communication, the How To Guide for IABC Award Entries, the IABC Code of Ethics and the Job Task Analysis for SCMP. If you are considering the CMP exam, I have been told the Job Task Analysis for CMP and the Practice Test are also great resources in addition to the IABC Code of Ethics.
I bravely went into the exam with a positive mindset, “you only live life once, so you might as well take a dive,” and voila… I passed! With my new-found confidence and glowing excitement, I added my fancy new letters to my profile on LinkedIn. I was not looking for a new job, but within a few weeks two recruiters from different companies called me about three different positions they thought I would be a good match for! I strongly believe that my new SCMP certification is what made my profile stand out to those recruiters over other candidates. I accepted one of the positions, which was a great match for my family, including better pay and benefits.
I highly recommend getting your SCMP certification or CMP certification sooner than later. If not for a better job, for your own personal and professional growth. I feel accomplished and am so proud of myself. It’s been a long time since I felt that jolt of satisfaction for a mountain I conquered. I did it and so can you!
A guest blog post by Noel Freeman, SCMP